The Note: 'Lift-off':


Sorry, Chelsea -- that dance didn't pay off. Obama swamped Clinton 76-24 in his native Hawaii, "as an unprecedented turnout at the Hawaii Democratic caucus overwhelmed precinct volunteers and party officials," per the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

As Clinton looks for a new way to blunt Obama's rise, he's getting stronger. His latest wins "demonstrated a widening coalition to his candidacy," Mike Dorning writes in the Chicago Tribune. "He added to his base of support among the well-educated, the young and African-Americans by also prevailing among blue-collar workers in an overwhelmingly white state."

All of which makes the argument Clinton is trying to construct -- that he's all talk, and that his talk isn't even his own -- delicate and dubious.

But she's got an opening here. ABC's Jake Tapper reports on another example of strikingly similar words emanating from the mouths of the two David Axelrod clients -- Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass.

And the words were being borrowed even before Patrick claims to have recommended the new avenue of pushback to Obama, Tapper writes.

Obama is handing Clinton more ammunition. "Obama seemed to borrow anew on Tuesday at an outdoor rally in San Antonio -- this time from former foe John Edwards," Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post. But "Obama had a ready answer for the questions about his originality: another big primary win."

Maybe it will amount to nothing, but to a Clinton campaign that's looking for forced and unforced errors over the next two weeks, the fact that the flap exists to exploit provides reason for (to borrow a word) hope.

"What is surprising is that Obama's circle of advisors -- and Obama -- didn't see this coming and they should have," Lynn Sweet writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. "While this controversy is unlikely to be decisive -- it is distracting. And it was avoidable."

"Perhaps more damaging to Mr. Obama, who built his candidacy around the notion of change, is the risk of looking inauthentic," Elizabeth Holmes writes in The Wall Street Journal.

Speaking of inauthentic -- how's this for a Clinton whopper? "Look, it's not us making this charge. It's the media," she told a TV reporter in Hawaii, on the subject of supposed Obama plagiarism. (Did she not know about the conference call arranged by her campaign, or about the handy YouTube links e-mailed around?)

And while we're straining credulity . . . Clinton's new ad extends her appeal to the working class: "She's worked the night shift, too," the voice-over says.

The backup for that claim? They don't roll out cots for senators for daytime naps. (And we're pretty sure she pulled all-nighters at Wellesley, too.) It turns out that -- actually, technically -- Clinton never worked the "night shift," her campaign concedes. "As the image on the screen makes pretty clear it is a reference to her habit of working late into the night," Clinton spokesman Jay Carson tells ABC's Kate Snow.

In any event, Clinton has an ally in making her case against Obama: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. The most superstitious of candidates is calling himself the Republican nominee now -- and with that, he's training his fire on his likeliest general-election opponent.

"I will work hard to make sure Americans aren't deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change," McCain said (in a line Clinton may yet want to swipe herself), per ABC's Ron Claiborne and Teddy Davis. Said McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker: "A preview of things to come."

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